Spinks Stops Sears in 3rd, Keeps Title


Unbeaten Michael Spinks knocked down David Sears with a right hand to the temple and stopped him in the third round Saturday to successfully defend his undisputed light-heavyweight title at Atlantic City, N.J.

Sears won the first two rounds on two of the three officials’ cards by being busier than Spinks, who was fighting for the first time in a year.

Early in the third round, Spinks crashed a chopping right to the head that dropped Sears on his stomach. Sears struggled up at the count of seven, but was on wobbly legs.


Spinks charged to the attack along the ropes and landed several punches. Referee Larry Hazzard stepped in and stopped the fight at 1:02 of the round.

It was the second victory in three days for the Spinks brothers. Leon, 31, the former heavyweight champion, ended a layoff of almost two years Thursday night when he stopped Lupe Guerra in the fourth round in Detroit.

Michael, 28, making his third defense of the title, now has a 26-0 record, with 18 knockouts. He weighed 170 1/2 pounds, 4 1/2 pounds under the division limit, and earned $300,000.

Sears, 25, of New York, weighed 174 and picked up $100,000. It was his first loss against 16 victories and one draw.

British and European featherweight champion Barry McGuigan moved a step closer to a world title fight when he scored a 10-round victory over former World Boxing Council champion Juan LaPorte at Belfast, Northern Ireland.

McGuigan, ranked No. 4, overcame an early cut to outbox LaPorte and set up a showdown with either WBC champion Azumah Nelson of Ghana or World Boxing Assn. champion Eusebio Pedroza of Panama.


LaPorte, a New York-based Puerto Rican who lost the title to Wilfredo Gomez last year and is ranked No. 3 in the super-featherweight division, was soundly beaten by the 23-year-old Irishman, who improved his record to 25-1, with 20 knockouts. The victory was the 19th straight for McGuigan, who weighed 127.

LaPorte, 25, who weighed 127 3/4, fell to 25-6.

Quintus McDonald, the highly regarded prep linebacker from Montclair, N.J., signed a national letter of intent with Penn State Friday, eight days after he said he would decide between the Nittany Lions and USC.

The 6-3 McDonald was named the top defensive player in the country by USA Today and was a member of Parade Magazine’s All-American team. USC Coach Ted Tollner had said McDonald was one of the players the Trojans wanted most, and UCLA was also in the late running to get him.

“Coach (Joe) Paterno seems like a real nice person,” McDonald said. “He is very down to earth. That’s the way most of the people at Penn State were like.”

The New York Cosmos have pulled out of the Major Indoor Soccer League but have not disbanded, Managing Director Peppe Pinton said.

Pinton said the Cosmos would play a limited schedule in the North American Soccer League and concentrate on international matches.

“Internationally we average about 31,000 paying customers. Last year, our attendance fell to 10,000 in the NASL, and this year indoors we averaged 4,100,” Pinton said.

John Paul Jr. broke his own qualifying record to beat A.J. Foyt and take the pole position for today’s $150,000 Miami Grand Prix.

Paul, in a Buick March, averaged 82.066 m.p.h. Foyt averaged 81.394 in his Porsche 962.

Al Holbert drove his Porsche 962 to third position. Brazil’s Emerson Fittipaldi finished fourth in his Chevy March.

Names in the News

Martina Navratilova entered the $500,000 Chrysler Women’s Team Championship March 1-3 at La Costa. The tennis star will be paired with Candy Reynolds.